Facebook last month unveiled their plans for an aerial taxi service by the year 2020. This endeavor is possible with the joint forces of the social media giant, and the transport company Uber. Now, it seems Facebook is only beginning with their drone plans.
Internet for All, Internet Everywhere:
The social media company recently filed paperwork for experimental drones. These requests to the Federal Communications Commission involve drones flown into the New Mexico desert. The drones, as part of initial tests, would fly to nearby Mexican towns. Then the drones will attempt to be a source of internet connection for their areas.
Yes, the end game plan is an ambitious design to supply internet to the world. Facebook plans to make this happen using drones running on solar panels (from the drones themselves), making them self-sustaining. The drones’ wingspan would be bigger than an average sized passenger plane, and would be afloat 3 months at a time. These drones would fly at 60,000 – 90,000 feet into the skies, where they will rely on sunlight for power.
Towers from Facebook will then send signals to these drones, which the drones in turn would spread on their areas. Supply and demand all in one quick motion.
Imagine a swarm of these drones flying above us, all while providing internet connection to the masses. What sounds like a science fiction concept could come to reality someday.
But that may be a long, long way to go. For now, we have small drones testing the concept in a much smaller scale. The drones are small, and the towers connecting them would only be limited to the area. The relay stations in this testing phase involve 98 foot tall antennas to serve as the source. These towers have an operational area of 62 miles. This can give a good look at where the technology can go.
But this may be the start of a future that cuts off our landline connections and enjoy internet anywhere in the world.